I absolutely lurved Kill the Farm Boy. I’ve read more Delilah Dawson than Kevin Hearne, but I’ve read and enjoyed them both. The easiest way to describe Kill the Farm Boy is that it is Spaceballs, but in a fantasy setting. Everything that I loved about Spaceballs is everything I love about Kill the Farm Boy. Puns, double entendre, slapstick situational comedy, and a general irreverence to the genre the writing duo parodies. Plus, Dawson and Hearne don’t take themselves seriously. When the authors can laugh at themselves, the reader will too. I can totally imagine Dawson and Hearne at the bar of a hotel after a day at a convention, daring each other to write this story.
If I had to complain about anything, it would be that while the writers are aware of the genre they poke fun at, the tropes are alive and well in this parody. Several plot twists were plainly evident, and if this story had a character that broke the fourth wall, I’d expect them to pop up and declare, “plot twist!” Now that I write this down, I think that a character breaking the fourth wall would’ve been just the ticket. It works for Ferris Bueller and Deadpool, why not an irreverent parody of fantasy. Kevin Smith famously said that he made all his money with phallus and flatulence jokes.
The story obviously parodies The Princess Bride, Shrek, and just about every Dungeons and Dragons campaign ever made. The humor is at times crude, often juvenile, but always there. There’s a reason the tag line is “Once. A pun. A time.” For the same reasons that people enjoy Mel Brooks, Monty Python, and the Three Stooges, they’ll enjoy Kill the Farm Boy. To steal a meme from the Internet, “I don’t always read the punnies, but when I do, it’s to Kill the Farm Boy.” There will be a lot of consternation about the humor, but what did they expect? I’m awarding this story 3.14 stars, because I like pie.